Vappu in Finland in 2020

Vappu in Finland in 2020
Image via Pixabay
  How long until Vappu?
This holiday next takes place in 225 days.
  Dates of Vappu in Finland
2021 Finland Sat, May 1 National Holiday
2020 Finland Fri, May 1 National Holiday
2019 Finland Wed, May 1 National Holiday
2018 Finland Tue, May 1 National Holiday
2017 Finland Mon, May 1 National Holiday
  Summary
Vappu gets its name from St. Walpurgis, an 8th century saint who was canonised on 1 May 870 AD
  Local name
Vappu
Related holidays

When is Vappu?

Vappu is celebrated annually on May 1st and marks the end of winter. It is also celebrated as International Labour Day and is one of the biggest festivals of the year in Finland alongside Midsummer's Day and Christmas.

What is Vappu?

With its northern latitude leading to cold. dark winters, the arrival of spring has always been a welcome event in Finland and a tradition of a festival to mark the turning of the seasons dates back to pagan times.

The Finnish name 'Vappu' originates from an 8th-century German saint called Walpurgis, who was canonised on May 1st 870 AD.

A Finnish twist on the May Day celebrations developed in the nineteenth century when engineering students would celebrate and party at midnight on April 30th, while sporting their traditional white caps. This custom has now become widespread across Finland, leading to almost a carnival-like partying in towns and cities with large student populations.

Festivities begin in Helsinki at 6pm on April 30th, when students will gather at the Market Square to wash the statue of a nude female called Havis Amanda, before putting a white cap on her head.

On May 1st, students and graduates will then lead a procession through Helsinki, ending in large open-air picnics in the parks across the city. Mead and doughnuts are traditional treats on this day.

Translate this page